Collaborative work is useful to learners because the learners can work as a team to improve on the productivity of each member of the group. When students work in a group, they can assign themselves roles depending on the areas they are best in. The members of the group can benefit from the different technical skills brought on board by the members of the group which leads to effective learning (Mercer, 2013). Additionally, there is a need for the students to foster a good working relationship when they are in a group (Feichtner & Davis, 1984). Teamwork provides a better understanding between the members which creates a better study environment.
Group discussions are instrumental in improving the performance of students. The benefits of groups on the learning ability of the students are the driving factor in many learning institutions, especially at the undergraduate level (Springer, Stanne, & Donovan, 1999). The use of the group discussions reduces the workload of the teachers and as such the teachers can focus more on helping the students with other tasks in the improving their grades. The benefits realized by individual group members are vital in designing the grading system used by the school (Kennedy, 2005, January). In spite of the benefits accrued from the group discussions, there are a few challenges in assessing the students from work done through the collaborative work. Studies show that more than half of the learners prefer to have group assignments while more than half of the tutors do not approve of the group work (Gibbs, 2009).
The group assignments can be more effective when there are proper communication strategies incorporated among the group members, and the student learning process is enhanced. Institutions that apply the use of the group discussions in the learning process also enhance proper communication among the students hence ensuring a proper flow of information between the members of the group.
There are many skills that the learners can get from the use of the group work during their learning process. The ability to gel in teams is enhanced in such circumstances, enhances the skills of conflict resolution, improves on the ability of the student to solve problems, and improves on the individual self-esteem (Rafferty, 2012). Additional skills enhanced through the use of the group discussions in schools include the sexual relationships and gender sensitivity. This makes the process of group discussion to be instrumental in enhancing the community buildup activities (Diaz, 2016). The ability of the members to solve the challenges arising within their groups also equips them with good problem-solving skills where are then transferred to the community at large.
The learning system where a teacher is required to attend to individual students is only appropriate where the learner requires the special attention of the teacher. When a teacher works with a student, the teacher is set to feel important, and as such, they can improve on the performance (Jensen, 2004). The teacher in such circumstances can tailor make the learning such that the needs of the students are met easily. The understanding of the student would be enhanced. If there is limited time to teach individual students, they can be paired to enhance quick learning. Group work enables the work given by the tutors to be done more swiftly and efficiently with better understanding. Pairing students also enable the students to have the different perspectives of the same subject because the group members were able to give the points angles.
Learning at the individual level makes the students more attentive so that the ability of the students to grasp concepts is enhanced. The student should maintain an active state while following the teacher to tap on their potential (Dochy, Segers, Van & Gijbels, 2003). In a group set up, each of the members so the group is assigned duties which at a later stage would be expected to contribute to the group. The presentation by the students of the concepts enhances the achievement of the students (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1994). Additionally, the students can gain the better, psychological health and cognitive development.
Group work enhances teamwork which enhances the ability of human beings to develop socially. The social development assists the students to exchange the ideas and gain insights from their colleagues (Vygotsky, 1978). Improving ideas can thus be a reason to encourage the students to get involved more in group work.
Diaz Vega, L. (2016). The Effects of Collaborative vs. Individual Work on EFL Written Texts: Aspects of Quality and Engagement (Master's thesis).D
Dochy, F., Segers, M., Van den Bossche, P., & Gijbels, D. (2003). Effects of problem-based learning: A meta-analysis. Learning and instruction, 13(5), 533-568.
Feichtner, S. B., & Davis, E. A. (1984). Why some groups fail: A survey of students' experiences with learning groups. Organizational Behavior Teaching Review, 9(4), 58-73.
Gibbs, G. (2009). The assessment of group work: lessons from the literature. Assessment Standards Knowledge Exchange, 1-17.
Jensen, S. J. (2004). One Individual at a Time: Instruction in the Montessori Classroom. Montessori Life, 16(4),
Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Holubec, E. J. (1994). The nuts and bolts of cooperative learning. Interaction Book Co.
Kennedy, G. J. (2005, January). Peer-assessment in group projects: is it worth it?. In Proceedings of the 7th Australasian conference on Computing education-Volume 42 (pp. 59-65). Australian Computer Society, Inc...
Mercer, N. (2013). The social brain, language, and goal-directed collective thinking: A social conception of cognition and its implications for understanding how we think, teach and learn. Educational Psychologist, 48(3), 148-168.
Rafferty, P. D. (2012). The assessment and evaluation of group work: a case study of graduate student experiences and perceptions of positive group work outcomes. International Journal of University Teaching and Faculty Development, 3(2), 83.
Springer, L., Stanne, M. E., & Donovan, S. S. (1999). Effects of small-group learning on undergraduates in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology: A meta-analysis. Review of educational research, 69(1), 21-51.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of the higher mental process.
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